By Miriam Mangwaya
Teachers have called on government to urgently review their salaries this month as per government tradition at the beginning of each year, owing to the rise in the cost of living.
Zimbabwe National Teachers Union (Zinatu) chief executive officer Manuel Nyawo yesterday wrote to Primary and Secondary Education minister Paul Mavima seeking clarity on when the government would review teachers’ salaries.
For the better part of last year, government and teachers fought endless battles over salary issues, with the latter downing tools demanding at least US$520 or its equivalent in local currency.
Late November last year, government offered a 41% pay rise, but teachers dismissed it as a mockery.
Nyawo said teachers required a massive salary adjustment to cushion them against the rising cost of living.
“Honourable minister, you need to appreciate that the cost of living shot up a few days before the 2020 December Christmas (holidays) and this includes transport costs. Even the Zupco buses have since increased their fares in spite of overcrowding and absence of social distancing.
“We are still seeking explanation and justification for these shocking price increases when market forces at play at the material time did not speak to that.
Our salaries have been seriously affected and there is an urgent need for a salary adjustment beginning this January 2021,” he said.
Nyawo also urged the government to treat teachers the same as other civil servants.
Public Service permanent secretary Simon Masanga said the government had already resolved the issue of the January salary increment, but referred further questions to Apex Council president Cecilia Alexander, who, however, could not be reached for comment.
“We don’t deal with individual teachers unions, because there are just many of them. That is why the Apex Council was formed. However, there is already an agreed position on their queries, which the Apex Council is fully aware of,” he said. NewsDay.